The Road has received numerous positive reviews and honors since its release. The review aggregator Metacritic reported the book had an average score of 90 out of 100, based on thirty-one reviews. Critics have deemed it "heartbreaking", "haunting", and "emotionally shattering". The Village Voice referred to it as "McCarthy's purest fable yet." In a New York Review of Books article, author Michael Chabon heralded the novel. Discussing the novel's relation to established genres, Chabon insists The Road is not science fiction; although "the adventure story in both its modern and epic forms... structures the narrative", Chabon says, "ultimately it is as a lyrical epic of horror that The Road is best understood." Entertainment Weekly in June 2008 named The Road the best book, fiction or non-fiction, of the past 25 years and put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "With its spare prose, McCarthy's post-apocalyptic odyssey from 2006 managed to be both harrowing and heartbreaking."
On March 28, 2007, the selection of The Road as the next novel in Oprah Winfrey's Book Club was announced. A televised interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show was conducted on June 5, 2007 and it was McCarthy's first, though he had been interviewed for the print media before. The announcement of McCarthy's television appearance surprised his followers. "Wait a minute until I can pick my jaw up off the floor," said John Wegner, an English professor at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, and editor of the Cormac McCarthy Journal, when told of the interview. During Winfrey's interview McCarthy insisted his son, John Francis, was a co-author to the novel, revealing that some of the conversations between the father and son in the novel were based upon actual conversations between McCarthy and his son. The novel was also dedicated to his son; in a way it is a love story for his son, but McCarthy felt embarrassed to admit it on television.
Awards and nominations
In 2006, McCarthy was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in fiction and the Believer Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. On April 16, 2007, the novel was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In 2012, it was shortlisted for the Best of the James Tait Black.